Powell, who maintains close relationships with several Lakers, chatted with us prior to receiving his ring from Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher in a pregame ceremony:
On what he misses about L.A.:
Powell: Of course the team and being part of that great, winning situation. It was like a brotherhood with everybody. We all ate together, we had fun, we laughed, we went through hard times and just had a lot of great experiences. The feeling of being a part of the Purple and Gold was special, whether at home or on the road, feeling the love from everybody no matter where you went. I’ve had most of the greatest experiences of my life with this team, and I’m very grateful and fortunate that I was able to be a part of something as special as what we had.
On his continual close relationship with Bryant and Fisher in particular:
Powell: They were like big brothers, and I’m still very close with those guys. We always keep in touch. On and off the court, they definitely helped me grow and mature as a person and as a player. Sometimes (Kobe and I) hit each other up to laugh and joke, sometimes we hit each other to catch up, sometimes we hit each other just to see what’s going on. It’s a lot of different things. I also keep in touch with Shannon (Brown), Luke (Walton) and some of the other guys as well.
On getting his ring from Kobe and Fisher:
Powell: It means a lot to get a ring, but to have guys that I looked up to present it to me is just a big thing. I’ve been asked questions (about the Lakers) since I got here, and I’m not a man who gives speeches, but I’m sure it’s going to be an emotional moment.
On taking over DJ duties in the Hawks’ weight room, as he did for the Lakers throughout his tenure in L.A.:
Powell: I guess it comes from me always being the one that’s in the weight room*. That’s kinda how it started when I was with the Lakers**. I was always the first one in, so I just put the music on. That’s how it’s been in Atlanta, because I’m always working hard on and off the court.
*That, and the fact that Powell’s iPod is now approaching 30,000 songs … literally.
**Phil Jackson actually noted prior to the game that the Lakers always appreciated Powell’s work ethic and what it brought to the team.
On one album we should be sure to catch that’s come out recently, since Powell used to instruct us on what was good in the music world on Lakers.com’s “J-Peezy’s Playlist.”
Powell: You gotta get that Rick Ross “Ashes to Ashes.” That’s a good one.